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review 2018-12-13 20:45
[REVIEW] The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
The Hating Game: A Novel - Sally Thorne

This was such a fun read. I was about to be really mad because I had no idea how the author would wrap it up so neatly, but she managed to do it in a way that left me satisfied.

The heroine and the hero have amazing chemistry and it was a delight to spend time in their world with them. Lucy's thoughts were insane and over the top but it just made me love her more. And Josh? UNF. That man is a sexy beast with a heart of gold.

 

Reading progress notes

 

8% - Started this today and it’s ok, haven’t been gripped by the story yet. Lucy is SO into Joshua, it’s hilarious. I mean, I don’t think she can tell that she’s into him but she totally is.
 
24% - That is one hell of an angry kiss, that's all I'm gonna say.
 
35% - I am living for caretaker Josh. LIVING.
 
38% - I love that Joshua cleans up the apartment. Biggest turn on ever.
 
40% - Danny, you gotta take a hike, dude. Like NOW.
 
48% - I spot a little origami bird made of notepaper I once flicked at him during a meeting.

omg i'm ded
 
51% - First peeve: unless those macarons were refrigerated there is no way they would've survived enough for an 'emergency.' Stuff like that throws me off.
 
68% - ”Get to know me. And I never thought it would be you.”
“Do you want me to stop?”
I almost can’t hear his reply, it’s so quiet. “No.”


omg my heart
 
78% - I'm suspecting the thing that Josh isn't saying is concerning the 'happy' couple and oh boy.
 
80% - I KNEW IT.
 
96% - "I couldn’t. If I’d let myself smile back. And be friends with you, I probably would have fallen in love with you.”

*melts into a puddle*
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review 2018-12-13 18:32
Women’s fiction with a touch of the paranormal. A beautifully written feel-good story.
The Last Thing She Said - Rachel Walkley

I am writing this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team (authors, if you’re looking for reviews, I recommend you check her amazing site here), and I thank her and the publisher for providing me an ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

I recently read and reviewed Rachel Walkley’s first novel The Women of Heachley Hall and enjoyed it so much that I had to check her second novel as soon as it became available. And I thoroughly enjoyed it as well.

This is the story of three sisters, twins Rebecca and Leia, as different as two sisters can be (or perhaps not), and younger sister Naomi. Their parents move to the US when the youngest sister is in her late teens and she refuses to go with them. Rebecca becomes her ersatz mother (Nancy, their mother, does not seem particularly close to any of them, although perhaps that is the sisters’ impression) and eventually Leia also moves to the US to work on her medical research.

The three sisters are gifted, although they all have trouble dealing with their gifts, which are very different. Rebecca gives up her career as a lawyer to take refuge at home, bringing up her children and looking after her husband and the house; Naomi, a talented flute player, loves to perform but does not feel confident and dedicates most of her life to teaching music to children; Leia has a big brain and dedicates her efforts to useful research, but hates the limelight and would prefer all the credit to go to her team. Their grandmother, the member of the family that managed to get them all together with her traditional birthday celebration, also had a gift, but most people dismissed her birthday predictions as an eccentricity. When Rebecca starts investigating her grandmother’s past pronouncements —for very personal reasons—, she gets a big surprise.

The story is told in the third person from different points of view, mostly those of the sisters, although we get some glimpses into other characters’ minds as well, and in chronological order for the most part. There are some short chapters that go back to show us past events (there are no lengthy explanations or “telling” in the novel), and these flow logically from the narrative. For example, if Naomi is thinking about the relationship with her parents, her memory might go back to how she had felt when her parents decided to leave the country. It is a great way of layering the background story of the characters without disrupting the action for too long, and it also helps us understand where the characters are coming from, and their reasons for being the people they are. Each chapter and fragment is clearly labelled with the character’s name and the date, and it is not an effort to follow the story, as it flows naturally, at a sometimes wandering but engaging pace.

There are some descriptions of places and locations, but these are limited to what is necessary to tell the story and to allow readers to see it. The story is more interested in the psychological makeup of these characters, and the author does a great work of making us understand them in their own terms. We see each protagonist from her sisters’ point of view first, but on later seeing things from their perspective, we get a completely different picture of them. By the end of the story I was attached to all of the characters, even the ones that at first I was not sure about. And although not all the characters are sympathetic, the novel is not judgmental about any of them, giving them the benefit of the doubt.

I particularly enjoyed the character of Rose, the grandmother, the passages about Naomi’s playing and her thoughts about it (if you read the author’s note at the end you’ll understand why these scenes appear so vivid), and grew very fond of Leia and Howard. That is not to say I don’t like Rebecca and the rest of the chapters from Naomi’s perspective, but perhaps because they are the ones we get to know first, we are on their side from the beginning, and the rest of the characters came as a revelation much later on. There are secrets and lies, but none are Earth-shattering or beyond most reader’s expectations and experiences, and they do not require a huge amount of suspension of disbelief, even the paranormal elements. There is mystery, but the strongest element of the story is the relationship between the three sisters and how they all become more their individual selves by working together and protecting each other.

The novel is both easy to read and beautifully written, and the ending… No, I won’t give you details, but let’s say I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did. Definitely a feel-good story.

A book I recommend to anybody who enjoys contemporary women’s fiction, optimistic stories about family relationships with a touch of the paranormal, and who are eager to discover a new and talented writer.   

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text 2018-12-13 16:05
Reading progress update: I've listened 379 out of 585 minutes.
Hogfather - Terry Pratchett,Nigel Planer

I always have to bring up the stuff to give the troops exchange.

 

‘Um . . . excuse me, gentlemen,’ said Ponder Stibbons, who had been scribbling thoughtfully at the end of the table. ‘Are we suggesting that things are coming back? Do we think that’s a viable hypothesis?’

The wizards looked at one another around the table.

‘Definitely viable.’

‘Viable, right enough.’

‘Yes, that’s the stuff to give the troops.’

‘What is? What’s the stuff to give the troops?’

‘Well . . . tinned rations? Decent weapons, good boots . . . that sort of thing.’

‘What’s that got to do with anything?’

‘Don’t ask me. He was the one who started talking about giving stuff to the troops.’

‘Will you lot shut up? No one’s giving anything to the troops!’

‘Oh, shouldn’t they have something? It’s Hogswatch, after all.’

‘Look, it was just a figure of speech, all right? I just meant I was fully in agreement. It’s just colourful language. Good grief, you surely can’t think I’m actually suggesting giving stuff to the troops, at Hogswatch or any other time!’

‘You weren’t?’

‘No!’

‘That’s a bit mean, isn’t it?’

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text 2018-12-13 12:00
Reading progress update: I've read 122 out of 158 pages.
Stig of the Dump - Clive King,Edward Ardizzone

Very episodic, so far.

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review 2018-12-13 07:10
The Word for World is Forest
The Word for World is Forest - Ursula K. Le Guin

Has anyone of you watched the movie Avatar and thought the same thing as I did: “It´s worth watching the movie because of its visual style but the story is one of the lamest I ever had to sit through in a cinema.” Leave it to Ursula K. Le Guin to write almost the same story and make it an interesting one out of it. I guess she could write an essay about the telephone book and I would be enthralled by it.

 

What I realized about Le Guin´s writing is:

  • she does an incredibly job in creating the world in which her story is set in.
  • she has the most wonderful way of writing about interspecies friendships. In both “The Left Hand of Darkness” and “The Word for World is Forest” there is a pair of human and alien, who are forming a friendship despite their differences and I feel like the pages are radiating a warmth whenever I´m reading about these friendships.
  • I love how subtle her commentaries on social issues come across in her books. Whether it being the criticism of the Vietnam War (which Mike Finn – Audiobook Addict kindly told me this book is) or gender issues in “The Left Hand of Darkness”, as a reader I never feel whacked over the head by Le Guin´s views.  

 

As you might tell, I loved this book. It´s 128 pages of a highly immersive and spellbinding story and I loved how the ending packed such a punch. Highly recommended.

 

I´ve read this book for the 24 tasks as a book, that has green on the cover

 

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